NetApp In Operation

We have now had our NetApp FAS3020c storage equipment successfully in operation for the past 3+ weeks. Everything seems to be working wonderfully. The perform is at least as good as we used to have although some of branch office folks claim that it is slower. We even experienced a disk failure during this time. We had no outages and the new disk arrived as expected and rebuilt nicely.

I’ve blog before about using Cacti to graph devices. It has proven very useful in keeping an eye on our devices. One of the selling points of the NetApp product line is that it has a very extensive snapshot capability for recovering and restoring data. By default when you create a volume it assigns 20% of that space to be reserved for snapshots. That space can not be used for storing data. What the Cacti graphs provide is a visual way to easily see how much of that snap reserve is being used. We already used this information to help us adjust the times and quantity of snaps that we are taking and keeping. In the future we may use it to help us size the snap reserve correctly so that we can maximize our usable disk space.

I’m also monitoring the different type of calls made to the system, CPU utilization, network activity, as well as volume (and inode) usage both by percentage as well as actual quantities, and finally total disk usage.

NetApp CIFS RPC NFS Statistics
Here I am showing the number of calls to the system based upon protocol type. In our case we are only running CIFS so that is why the others show up with zero values.

NetApp Disk Used Graph
This is a custom graph showing the disk used per volume on one of our aggregates.

If you’re interested in more info about the graphs let me know or you can check out the forums on the Cacti site for more detail.

Leave a comment


  1. Jerry

     /  December 16, 2006

    Nice graphs! I have only discovered your blog after doing some searches for the Dell PowerVault 220S. Sorry to hear about your troubles with these units, but I found it a little funny because I feel the same way after working with the pv220s. It’s horrible.

    I have worked with Network Appliance filers for many years, and we also recently purchased the FAS3020c at the company I work for now. This has become immensely popular as all the previous storage has been Dell PowerVault and Snap Appliance. I’ll continue to read the blog and see how you’re doing with the Netapp. I’m going to look for how you’re doing the graphs in Cacti too.


  2. Gene

     /  January 20, 2007

    Great Netapp Graphs. Could I get a copy of them? thanks.

  3. Gene,

    I got all the graphs from posts on the Cacti forums. Your best bet would be do a search for NetApp in the forums, but to get you started here are a couple.

    NetApp Graphs
    NetApp Space Available
    NetApp qTrees

    If you really want I could probably do an export from my installation and get you the XML files and scripts. Just let me know.


  4. Gene

     /  January 24, 2007

    Thanks Ken
    If you wouldn’t mind doing an export I’d really appreciate it. My email is

  5. Athreya

     /  November 23, 2007

    This blog is great , I did not know the fix for Disk fails in Simulator

    Thanks a million ,

    I am a netapp newbie, I did “Single file restore from Snapshot”

    Can we restore a Qtree with the Snapshot or Is it at the volume level ?

    Best regards,


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